Apple praised by Chinese media after apology over warranty policy

Apple praised by Chinese media after apology over warranty policy

Following Tim Cook’s apology yesterday, the state-controlled media in China has begun to praise Apple after a constant barrage of negative stories over the past couple of weeks. Apple’s apology and policy change were inevitable, as the company was an underdog against the Chinese state media machine. At least according to Reuters:

With the apology and warranty change, Apple's mea culpa is significant not just because it comes from a tech firm that rarely apologizes, but also because Apple may be realizing that in China, it needs to be proactive.

Since Apple posted Tim Cook’s letter on their Chinese website, everyone from the Foreign Ministry to the press has enthusiastically welcomed Apple’s change in policy. Apple’s decision demonstrates the power of the Chinese media. Other companies targeted by the Chinese press have seen sales drop, something Apple would desperately want to avoid as China continues to develop into one of their most important markets. Going forward, Apple will need to move even faster to respond to both consumer and government demands, staying ahead of anything that could obstruct their growth.

Source: Reuters

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Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

Apple praised by Chinese media after apology over warranty policy

7 Comments

Just what was the difference in warranty policy? I've seen this story covered all over the internet and have yet to actually see the difference or what made them so upset.

What I understand is that the criteria of getting a new phone was somewhat blurred in China. if your phone is messed up and meets a certain requirement, you get a brand new phone; however, in China, you were sometimes getting your old phone with some new parts. This is completely different than in other countries like UK, USA, so on. This is why the Chinese were infuriated. However, it seems like Apple was able to put out the serious flames fast enough this time. I don't think it will hurt them that much.

Hmm, very strange. Thanks for the info. Why would Apple want to repair them in China instead of just handing over the refurb like they do every where else? Too many trying to scam them? They barely even ask any questions in the US to get them swapped. They almost make it seem like it's easier to just give you another one instead of trying to fix or work on the broken one you bring in.

Very strange...IMO.

Possibly due to all the counterfeit phones they encounter there. I'm not familiar with the severity and accuracy of the numerous counterfeit companies making "iPhones" but there seems to be a ton of them. Maybe people were buying counterfeit phones and altering them to look more like authentic iPhones to swap out for actual iPhones by scamming the warranty system.

There are a few reasons why China does this to foreign companies. The first is pragmatic, the second psychological.

The government needs to constantly justify their authoritarian control over the population. If they don't, people will start thinking revolution. China isn't a monoculture. It's dozens of ethnic groups, each with their own dialect, all being held together by a heavy, paranoid political structure.

The best way for the government to maintain control is to manufacture a phony enemy, then defend The People against a specious threat from the phony enemy. The Party looks good, foreign devil invaders are slapped on the wrist, and all is forgiven if the foreign devils apologize and kowtow to The Party. It's all in "1984" by George Orwell.

Then, of course, there's China's deep-seated sense of inferiority. Overrun by Mongols led by Ghengis Khan. Overrun and plundered by Europeans who crushed the Boxer Rebellion and looted Beijing for all it was worth. Crushed by tiny little Imperalist Japan. Millions of citizens dead from torture, overwork, or starvation during Chairman Mao's "Cultural Revolution." Generations of educated citizens turned into peasant dirt famers.

Forcing foreign companies to apologize and kiss the ring is a passive-aggressive way of extracting just a little bit of revenge, and to feed the egos of those in power. The "more equal" comrades.

This is good that the media acknowledges and give praise to apple for correcting a policy and making their consumers happy.